I found some of the facts striking:
Plastic bags. Why can’t we eliminate these polluting, addicting, consumer-age indulgences from our lives? Probably because they’re so damned practical, so accommodating. What better overnight-clothes stuffer? Beach towel carrier? Garbage pail liner? Pooper-scooper bag? Californians Against Waste estimate that we use 19 billion plastic grocery bags each year in the state. That’s about 500 each, almost 2 a day.
Put it this way: the average plastic bag has an estimated life of from 20 to 1000 years, depending on the bag and whom you talk to. So if William the Conqueror had buried his dog’s doodoo in a plastic bag after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the bag’d be wasting away just about now. We don’t need to be creating history like that.
A plastic bag’s useful lifespan is, what, 20 or 30 minutes? However long it takes to get from the supermarket to home. Thereafter, it launches into a second career filling our landfills and clogging our streams, storm drains, oceans, fishes’ bellies. And from there, perhaps, to our bellies. How bad is the problem? Green think tanks have had a field day conjuring up original ways to express the horror.
By weight, Californians alone, you read, throw away 294,000,000 pounds of plastic bags every year, or 147,000 tons.
By volume? End to end, enough to circle the planet over 250 times.
By time? Six hundred plastic bags jettisoned every second. Worldwide, around 17,000 per second, a million a minute, more than half a trillion plastic bags per year.
You can take them back to the supermarket, but don’t try putting them out in your recycling bin. Edco or Allied will reject them or send them to the landfill because (a) they’re the lowest-grade plastic and hard to sell at a profit, (b) they gum up the sorting machinery at the recycle centers, and (c) they’re too much trouble. Just leaving a shopping receipt inside one can cause sorting problems, plus it takes huge numbers to make up a nice, heavy, sellable bundle.Read the full article:
Before becoming involved with Greening Duluth, the problem with plastic bags was just one of the many issues whose gravity i was not aware of. Awareness is key but action must follow. Please pass along the link to the above article to someone who still uses plastic bags.